‘Reverse retirement’ gifts support zoo


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This article was published 01/06/2022 (366 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some of us wonder what to do to celebrate our retirement. Brian Wotton, who recently retired after years of service to Super 8 Winnipeg West and Motel 6 Winnipeg West, part of the Schinkel Properties Hospitality Division, knew exactly what to do. For his retirement, he took it upon himself to make a donation to the Assiniboine Park Conservatory for the Animal Care Fund of the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

His “reverse retirement” gift, as he calls it, includes a personal donation of $500, plus a framed print of an exciting style of artwork, depicting a mother polar bear and her two cubs.

The print, called Motherhood, by Dustin Crocker from Hamilton, Ont. is done in the freehand ‘stipple’ artform, which involves using dots to form a picture.

The management team of Schinkel Properties, Super 8 Winnipeg West, Super 8 Winnipeg East and Motel 6 Winnipeg West hold up their framed prints.

In addition to the framed print that was presented to the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, Wotton acquired several prints of the same artwork, and has presented the framed prints to the Super 8 West, Super 8 East, and Motel 6, and Schinkel head office. All prints are signed by the artist.

The purpose of investing in the framed prints and displaying them at the Winnipeg motels is recognize the company’s ongoing support of the zoo, and to encourage the guests who stay at the Winnipeg motels to join in his effort to raise funds for the Assiniboine Park Zoo, Wotton explains.

Super 8 West is currently promoting its association with the Zoo with its Stay and Play at the Zoo package, where passes to the zoo are available to guests that stay with them, he points out.

“I choose this approach, a donation of $500 and a gift of the framed prints, to ultimately promote the Animal Care Fund itself,” he said.

“We’re so grateful that Brian has chosen to support the Animal Care Fund in celebration of his retirement,” said Ashleigh Czyrnyj, donor relations officer at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. Donations to the Animal Care Fund help provide daily care, veterinary services, enrichment activities, and nutrition for over 180 species that live at Assiniboine Park Zoo, she explained, adding that such gifts make a difference in the lives of zoo animals and help to provide essential care.

Ashleigh Czyrnyj, donor relations officer at Assiniboine Park Conservancy, was presented with a signed print of a mother polar bear and cubs stipple artwork called Motherhood.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so online at, by phone at 204-927-8080, or by mail to Assiniboine Park Conservancy 55 Pavilion Crescent Winnipeg, MB, R3P 2N6.

Donna Minkus

Donna Minkus
Charleswood community correspondent

Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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